NEBDR in a 4WD

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NJRadioGuy

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I'm wondering if anybody here has done the Northeast Backroads Discovery Route in an overlanding vehicle, and not on a motorcycle. I'm thinking of doing 2 or 3 legs in MA/VT/NH this coming summer but I don't know which routes are passable in a reasonably-well-equipped 4WD SUV (Grand Cherokee, 4-Lo, Winch, skids, etc). If would love to do this with maybe 2 or 3 others since I'm as new to this as they come. Thanks in advance.
 
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Billiebob

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Not sure this is a good idea. we need to respect routes monopolized and designed and supported, funded by other users. I'd recommend frequenting the trails we all use before venturing into unfamiliar territory which might lead to the detriment of the overlanding community. Can it be done, likely. Should it be done, No

I looked at this a few years ago, it became obvious a 4WD Jeep would not be welcome and might compromize the watershed in an area built up for 2 wheeled transport.

However, yer desire to venture here is a great reason to ask "what adventure bike should I buy"
 
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NJRadioGuy

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Which then leads to the question of where does one find acceptable routes and back-country camping locations suitable for 4WD vehicles. This information is guarded tighter than Fort Knox. We can't afford the 4-6 weeks (minimum) that would be necessary to go out west any time soon, and driving on paved roads and camping at state campgrounds full of of Class A motorhomes isn't my idea of a good time. NEBDR looks nice on paper, but if it's not intended for us, then what is, and where do we go or what do we have to do to find what we're after?
 
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B-rizzle

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Which then leads to the question of where does one find acceptable routes and back-country camping locations suitable for 4WD vehicles. This information is guarded tighter than Fort Knox. We can't afford the 4-6 weeks (minimum) that would be necessary to go out west any time soon, and driving on paved roads and camping at state campgrounds full of of Class A motorhomes isn't my idea of a good time. NEBDR looks nice on paper, but if it's not intended for us, then what is, and where do we go or what do we have to do to find what we're after?
HI NJRadioGuy, I asked a similar questions the other day. I live in Rockland county NY and was informed to look towards PA and VT for good trails and to use a site called Where2wheel.com, which I looked at and found a few good trails.
As for the BDR I am also a adventure rider as well and have not taken this ride yet but looking forward to it. I may need a "chase vehicle" when ever I do decide to ride it.
Honestly my opinion (can't speak for all motorcycle riders) as long as the tracks don't get torn up or ruined and you are respectful, I personally don't have an issue with it. However Billiebob is right, some motorcycle riders won't take a liking to it but honestly if you are on the public roads or service roads of the sections what can they do. just don't take any of the singe track sections or what looks like a motorcycle only track. Just remember too we are all just trying to get out there and have a good time. 2 wheels or 4 just be respectful.
 
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Billiebob

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Which then leads to the question of where does one find acceptable routes and back-country camping locations suitable for 4WD vehicles. This information is guarded tighter than Fort Knox. We can't afford the 4-6 weeks (minimum) that would be necessary to go out west any time soon, and driving on paved roads and camping at state campgrounds full of of Class A motorhomes isn't my idea of a good time. NEBDR looks nice on paper, but if it's not intended for us, then what is, and where do we go or what do we have to do to find what we're after?
Buy bikes, do the trail. done. You could even buy e-bikes

I've been all over North America and never struggled to camp on a budget. Join an off road club, 4x4 club, overlanding, boon docking forum,
oh yeah, yer here.

Welcome.

Hang in there, we are a pretty small forum but I'm betting soon you will hear from someone more regional, local with great suggestions.
 
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NJRadioGuy

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Thanks Billiebob. I'm not so much concerned about budget, although that's always nice to find a free or nearly-free spot. But rather I'm really interested in getting some dirt and mud under my tires, and finding a nice lake or stream to camp beside for a few days--without trekking to the other side of the country or too far south. The whole idea is to be away from the pressures of work/life/etc/, and to be self-sufficient for a spell.

We live 20 miles west of Manhattan, where traffic is horrible and solitude is something we only see on TV. I need to be far away for a few days every couple of weeks if possible. I'm a "gentleman of leisure" at this point, but my wife works a high-pressure NYC-based job that requires her to be at home or at the office, or any place to set up dual monitors and gigabit broadband and the company's private network. Getting weeks off at a time will never happen, but 4 or 5 days plus a weekend is doable once or twice a year. If we can keep our adventures within New England we'll both be pretty happy. I'm trying to convince her to head back down to VA where I was last week as well, and perhaps into PA. But NJ and NY State are not particularly welcoming to what I'm after, and I just don't have the knowledge or experience to find where I want to be.
 
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Having been on NEBDR 2 and 3 (prior to the 2021 changes) and getting the route directly from their website I can say this:
- the routes were designed for the enjoyment of ADV riders but they are all public roads and are designed to be driven by a truck just as much as they are for a bike
- watching the BDR YouTube videos is very helpful in planning. It looks like the guys often slept at an inn along the route supporting the local businesses.
-even in NY you will definitely find dirt on the route. NEBDR is more than 50% dirt, so expect about 4 hours of your day spent off pavement if not more. .
-North South campground in NY on NEBDR2 is a very very popular destination. Lakefront secluded sites, hopefully you can get a site.
-blue mountain campground is small, the tent sections are separated from the rv section though. This place has the best shower and bathroom set up of any private campground I’ve been to. Some of the tent sites are a bit close together but if you can’t get a spot at NS this is really not a bad choice for a one night stop... it’s the spot I would recommend if you did sections 1 and 2 and plan to keep going. I would stop here, get a hot shower, dump trash and maybe do laundry if needed (really nice laundry facility)
-I didn’t camp in VT but there is dispersed camping available, just call the national and state parks ahead and PACE plan for where to sleep each night
 

RJ Howell

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I run portions of the trails in NH. Trails/roads that are restricted are typically posted. As you reach the entry point of a route, it becomes pretty obvious if you could/should run it. I've turned around at several entries and even backed out of one that narrowed pretty fast.

With that said.. I've traveled many miles of both the Flatlander and the Hamster and found some very enjoyable rides.
 

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I run portions of the trails in NH. Trails/roads that are restricted are typically posted. As you reach the entry point of a route, it becomes pretty obvious if you could/should run it. I've turned around at several entries and even backed out of one that narrowed pretty fast.

With that said.. I've traveled many miles of both the Flatlander and the Hamster and found some very enjoyable rides.
You got my interest with “the flatlander and the hamster” I am not familiar with either.

Also could you share with us what vehicle you took on these roads?

What vehicles would you recommend for the NH potions if the NEBDR, would you recommend a stock Subaru or a stock pickup?
 

RJ Howell

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You got my interest with “the flatlander and the hamster” I am not familiar with either.

Also could you share with us what vehicle you took on these roads?

What vehicles would you recommend for the NH potions if the NEBDR, would you recommend a stock Subaru or a stock pickup?
There are sections that are tar, dirt, double track and single track. So depending on section, depending on vehicle. I run what's on my profile picture. F150 with about a 1.5" lift by tires, springs and shocks. So not much over stock. I few sections I pushed through my wife drove as I spotted, but nothing too tough. That being said... I have backed out/turned around/retreated from situations that I deemed not worth the possible damage.

I have links to both you need them!
Hamster is here (scroll down a bit) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJduGeZNFgtptH67leItRFQ/discussion
 
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Are there any good places to either wild camp or other relatively primitive campsites (i.e. no RVs, etc)? Ideally I'd like to do this over 3 or 4 days with a nice secluded campsite to base out of for a couple of nights.
 
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@RJ Howell You also have that large camper in the back which I’m sure adds a degree of difficulty to the trails

Thank you very much for the routes!
 
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RJ Howell

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I like the less traveled WMNF campgrounds. All of my runs north end there the first day. Actually Day in another as well. Day 3 is a State Campground I really like (or stealth in the woods) as well as Day 4 (which typically is in the woods).

With that said: Osceola Vista WMNF outside Waterville Valley is a group campground that has a couple single sites. Awesome for multiple rigs! Enter after crossing Sandwich Notch (hamster, maybe flatlander) and you're close! There are several along Rt 113 on the Maine border that are also WMNF. I have my fav's but all are rustic (as I prefer). Mollidgewock SP will be open this year just below Errol is a great spot if running dirt from Berlin. Then I do like Deer Mtn SP as I finish dirt running into Pittsburg and a run to the northern most pond in the state.

Most of this is part of my foliage run and do believe the file is on the website/YT site.

Take extra care running any of the NBDR routes. We all take care anyway, yet I've met a few dual-sporters going a bit fast as we met on a curve. What I love is the signal given as to how many are behind them.

Safe travels!
 
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RJ Howell

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@RJ Howell You also have that large camper in the back which I’m sure adds a degree of difficulty to the trails

Thank you very much for the routes!
You're welcome! No really for size! It folds down and not bigger that a pickup with a cap! No wider either! Weight wise, base camper (unloaded) is 70lbs heavier than the bed I removed.. I really like how it worked out!
 

Dusther210

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I like the less traveled WMNF campgrounds. All of my runs north end there the first day. Actually Day in another as well. Day 3 is a State Campground I really like (or stealth in the woods) as well as Day 4 (which typically is in the woods).

With that said: Osceola Vista WMNF outside Waterville Valley is a group campground that has a couple single sites. Awesome for multiple rigs! Enter after crossing Sandwich Notch (hamster, maybe flatlander) and you're close! There are several along Rt 113 on the Maine border that are also WMNF. I have my fav's but all are rustic (as I prefer). Mollidgewock SP will be open this year just below Errol is a great spot if running dirt from Berlin. Then I do like Deer Mtn SP as I finish dirt running into Pittsburg and a run to the northern most pond in the state.

Most of this is part of my foliage run and do believe the file is on the website/YT site.

Take extra care running any of the NBDR routes. We all take care anyway, yet I've met a few dual-sporters going a bit fast as we met on a curve. What I love is the signal given as to how many are behind them.

Safe travels!
This is great info, thank you @RJ Howell ! I think you have 4 foliage runs on the YT, I can't wait to check them out!
 

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This is great info, thank you @RJ Howell ! I think you have 4 foliage runs on the YT, I can't wait to check them out!
Fours days of running north, then I did a westerly working dirt! Washington NH is a great area as is the surrounding areas. Get's very rural out there and some of the 'main' dirt roads would be beyond the faux SUV's on the market. Heck, some the tarred roads would be..LOL.
There's quite a bit of dirt roads in NH! No longer connected in a large part, but there if you look.

Let me know what you find!
 
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RJ Howell

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I will defer to others on VT. Several play there, but for me opposite side of the state and there's just so much north of me, I rarely go west. I tend to be draw northernly and easterly (ocean). I was hoping to explore deeply into New Brunswick and work my my slowly up the Maritimes. I did a slow run up the Maine Sur, yet still need to run Arcadia north in better depth. So my love of things goes away from VT...

If you've never run through the Atlantic Maritimes... You should start thinking about it! Amazing area!
 
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NJRadioGuy

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Well first they've got to reopen the border, which I doubt will happen until September at the earliest, and probably not until next year. I would love to drive up through NB, NS, and then on the ferry to Newfoundland, but that's a month, minimum, and a ton of planning. I"m looking closer to home for a few 4- or 5-day trips.
 
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RJ Howell

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Well first they've got to reopen the border, which I doubt will happen until September at the earliest, and probably not until next year. I would love to drive up through NB, NS, and then on the ferry to Newfoundland, but that's a month, minimum, and a ton of planning. I"m looking closer to home for a few 4- or 5-day trips.
We're awaiting the re-opening as well! We've been NB, NS, PEI, Gaspe and returned on the west side of the Saint Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord National Park. Spent two months doing it and still feel we moved too fast! NF we flew into (Conception Bay Area) and was planned for last year to drive, but we all know how last year went... I tend to agree that it's probably not happen this year either, at least in the Maritimes.

Safe Travels
 
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